Athletics: Tyson Gay safely through to 200m semi-finals

DES MOINES, IOWA (AFP) - Tyson Gay cruised into the semi-finals of the 200m at the US athletics championships on Saturday, a day after securing his 100m World Championships berth with a world-leading 9.75sec.

Gay, whose career has been hindered by injuries since he won three gold medals at the 2007 worlds in Osaka, had said on Friday night he would decide after warming up for the 200m if he would press ahead with his pursuit of a possible sprint double at the World Championships in Moscow August 10-18.

Justin Gatlin, who finished second to Gay in the 100m final in 9.89 despite nursing a right hamstring strain, opted not to push his luck and didn't start the 200m.

Gatlin, who has served a doping ban since winning Olympic 100m gold in 2004 and edged Gay for bronze at the London Games last year, said of his decision: "9.8 on a leg and a half is good enough for me." Gay said he expected to run the 200m semi-finals and final on Sunday, provided he recovered well.

"As long as everything feels good, I'm committed," Gay said.

"I'm healthy, that's the key," he added. "I'm not trying to be Superman." Gay won his heat in 20.14sec, in a favourable wind of 4.3 metres per second.

That was good enough to make him the third-fastest qualifier behind Isiah Young and Curtis Mitchell. Young's 20.09 and Mitchell's 20.11 were both wind-aided.

Wallace Spearmon, a former World Championships silver and bronze medalist in the 200m, posted the fifth-fastest time in the heats.

Walter Dix, the world championships silver medalist in the 100m and 200m in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011, didn't start, after limping across the line in the 100m final with a leg injury.